Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I look out over the cityscape. Did you ever do that, or did it make you feel like a tourist? Not me, ese. I look every chance I get and I think, people did that. People built those buildings and those roads and that harbor and turned the river into a concrete ditch. Then that wasn’t enough, so they made movies, and everybody wanted to come here so they could have copies of themselves that were just a little bit better than the original. Immortality via celluloid! Immortality in thirty-five millimeter! Immortality in Super-8! Except most of those you wouldn’t want your mother to see. Then it wasn’t enough to give live people immortality; we had to take dead people’s immortality and eat a little bit of it, regurgitate it in hi-def digital. Immortality via pixels! Immortality via phosphors! Immortality via packet switching and broadband immortality! All so we can let ourselves off the hook for being turned off by what we see in the mirror. I look out over the cityscape, and that’s what I see. I see an avatar of immortals who died not knowing they were immortal. I see the ghosts of stevedores and orange farmers. And I see a goddamn lot of drones and municipal cameras that ensure our safety by making sure that everyone knows what everyone else is doing. Isn’t that what it’s always been about? We’re all famous now.